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Columns
I Can’t Draw, Don’t Ask Me

Do you sing in the shower? Um, I know that’s kind of personal and you don’t need to tell me what kind of soap you use but ...



Columns
Guns and Roses

It seems that I’m either easily amazed or not fazed at all by new information. If you were to tell me that science ...



Columns
Dismayed in the Shade

"President Jimmy Carter once said that life is not fair. I’m not positive, but I don’t think he coined that phrase. I’m not pos



Columns
Weather Warrior

As I write, the guy on the Weather Channel is warning us to stay indoors. “Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to,” the ...



Blog
Not the Center of the World

Towards the end of February a startling fact was reported on the news. January, it turns out, had been the fourth warmest ...


questions

I have a nicely sheltered, rounded 7-foot tall Japanese red maple on the southeast corner of my backyard. Half of the tree has lost its leaves, the formerly red bark is turning gray, and a good-sized square of bark has been stripped off on the side that faces the yard. I sprayed the exposed bark with black pruning spray to close any entry for insects. I have not cut off any of the branches.

Does the winter have any effect on the tree? Should I look for some insect infestation? What should I do now?

How can I get rid of voles? I think they are doing a lot of damage to my bulbs.

I have two 3-year-old rose of Sharon plants, about 20 feet apart. One blooms every year. The other plant forms about 100 buds and looks healthy, but it has not bloomed in the last two years. The buds are solidly closed and look as if they are rotting from the inside out. There does not seem to be any sign of insects on the plant. What is this problem?